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Acceptability of Racial Microaggressions From the Perspective of Speech-Language Pathology Students.

PURPOSE: Implicit racial and ethnic biases have been documented across a variety of allied health professions; however, minimal research on this topic has been conducted within the field of speech-language pathology. The purpose of this study was to understand implicit racial and ethnic bias in speech-language pathology students by examining their perceptions and attitudes about the acceptability of racial and ethnic microaggressions. We also examined whether the student ratings varied by their racial and ethnic identity (White vs. people of color [POC]).

METHOD: Fifty-nine students (72% White, 28% POC) currently enrolled in a speech-language pathology program voluntarily completed the Acceptability of Racial Microaggressions Scale via an online Qualtrics survey.

RESULTS: Although 70% of the student ratings classified the microaggressive statements as unacceptable, 30% of their ratings classified the statements as either (a) acceptable or (b) neither acceptable nor unacceptable. Although both groups of students rated the majority of statements as unacceptable, students who self-identified as White rated more statements as acceptable than students who self-identified as POC.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicating relatively high rejection of microaggressive statements by speech-language pathology students are promising. However, responses were not uniform, and a nontrivial proportion of responses provided by speech-language pathology students reflected passivity toward or active endorsement of microaggressive statements.

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